In our culture today, it may be considered “hot” for sisters (and especially twin sisters) to touch each other, make out, or hook up. But these real-life cases of GSA (genetic sexual attraction) will give you the creeps. GSA is strange enough as it is, but the following 15 stories are of people who experienced this physiological phenomenon — and didn’t know it until after the fact!
That’s right; while GSA is rare, it’s even rarer between two people who don’t know they’re related. But it does happen. Those kinds of situations definitely make for an entertaining story, but for the people who experienced them (well, most of the people), it was heartbreaking and life-altering (others just “went with it,” so to speak).
There are several things that can lead to unknown relatives hooking up, dating, or even marrying, and these include being separated at birth or, as young children, donor sperm being used to father multiple children, child abandonment, adoption, and various other reasons for a family to be split up. Any of the above, coupled with sheer coincidence, could land you in bed with a family member. And there have been studies showing that family members who meet later in life can be attracted to one another more than they would other people due to their common physical looks, emotional experiences, backgrounds, and even a gut feeling — a pull toward each other.
Whatever the reason for “accidentally pulling a Lannister,” it’s not common whatsoever, but there are enough cases to make up this list. Unfortunately for us, most of the people involved have elected to remain anonymous — but not all of them. So read on, because when it comes to instances of consanguinity and romance, some of these stories take the cake.
15. Incestuous Irish Siblings Stay Together After Finding Out
An Irish couple, known only by their pseudonyms James and Maura, are among the few who have accidentally fallen in love with the one person they should not: their sibling. More than that, they had a child together, too. James and Maura met at a nightclub and had an instant connection to one another. They reported that after only a week together, they’d felt as if they’d known each other all their lives. Fast forward two years, and they were living together and Maura was pregnant with James’s baby. But on the phone, one day, James’s mother started asking all sorts of questions about Maura’s family, their names, where they were from, etc. Then she started freaking out. James’s mother knew that her son and his baby mama had the same father, a man who had moved on from her with another woman (Maura’s mother) after James’s mother had broken up with him. The two siblings were raised 100 miles apart and never knew about each other. James and Maura blame the courts for the mixup because the wrong father’s name was on James’s birth certificate. In any case, seeing no need to change anything, they married despite it being against the law (their story is only known using their aliases, not their real names). They went on to have more children and leave Ireland before they were discovered and thrown in the slammer.
14. Family Secrets
On the other side of the world, in China, life may be very different, but somehow the same problem arose for yet another couple. Going by the names Wei and Qing, this couple grew up together in the same neighborhood, never knowing their true connection. When they were older, they fell in love and married, although Qing’s father stayed suspiciously quiet about the nuptials. He would also look quite uncomfortable when people joked that the happy young couple looked alike (an ominous sign for marriage, it’s said) and that Wei even looked like his wife’s father and brother, too. It was only when the newlyweds announced their plans to start a family that Qing’s father, Bao, came clean with a dark family secret. Over 20 years earlier, he had had an affair with Wei’s mother and had never had the courage to tell the truth about it. Deep down, he’d known Wei was his son, a fact that was proven with 99.99% certainty after a DNA test was performed. It’s not known how the couple proceeded, but I think it’s safe to say that all involved were probably pretty livid with Bao.
13. Girls Weekend Gone Wrong
One woman vacationing with her girlfriends in the Bahamas got more than she bargained for when she met, fell in love with, and embarked on a six-month-long relationship with a man she had no way of knowing was her half-brother. Corey, the man whom the woman had a relationship with, addressed her father as “Dad” the first time she brought him home. It turned out that Corey was the product of her father’s secret affair. Only her uncle knew about the transgression, which wasn’t as simple as just a fling that yielded a pregnancy — he had an entire other family in secret! All of this came to light at the family barbecue that day. Now, the woman’s father is in the midst of a divorce, and Corey has requested that she not contact him or his two sisters, also fathered by the woman’s (and his own) dad. She had this to say about the relationship: “I had been dating, screwing, and loving my own flesh and blood for over six months and didn’t know it. My mother’s heart broke and so did mine.”
12. Bombshell Dropped in Brazil
Brazilian couple Adriana and Leandro got the short end of the stick when it came to their happily ever after. Both were abandoned as infants by their mother and grew up in different towns. They met after Adriana’s first marriage ended and fell in love with each other quickly. Little did they know, their common experiences as children were actually very connected. Adriana had never given up searching for her mother, and one day in 2014, she was reunited with her on air after seeking help from a local radio station. But the mother revealed she had also had a son, Leandro. It came to be that it was the same Leandro her long-lost daughter was in love with. Thankfully, the two had never married legally, despite referring to each other as husband and wife. But in a surprising twist, they decided to stay together because, according to Adriana, “Only death is going to separate us. All this happened because God wanted it to happen.”
11. Gay Lovers, Twin Brothers
A gay couple in New Jersey found out they were actually long-lost twins! Due to the striking resemblance to one another noticed by family and friends, lovers and models Jason Osborne and Alex Brown took a DNA test and were devastated by the results. Jason says, “We did the tests partly as a joke to shut up some of our friends who were constantly teasing us about being cousins… The man that I expected to spend my life with, my soul mate, is in fact my twin brother. I don’t know if I have to cry or jump with joy.” 25-year-old Jason also says his parents had lied to him his whole life about being adopted. For his part, Alex refuses to talk to Jason anymore and even threatened to “turn heterosexual” because of it all.
10. Brothers and Lovers
Two gay lovers named Paul and Lee were planning to marry… until the day it was revealed on The Jeremy Kyle Show that they were brothers! It all came about when Lee’s family noticed a striking resemblance between his mother’s ex-husband and his new boyfriend, Paul. They suspected that Paul could actually be Lee’s long-lost brother, so to settle everyone’s minds, the lovers went on The Jeremy Kyle Show (because how else would you handle this sort of situation?) and took a DNA test. Lo and behold, the two were found to be brothers, and they were sick over it (just look at their faces). They had never met before chatting online because older brother Paul had been placed for adoption at 18 months old, and Lee had been conceived later by the same mother and a different father. The half-brothers broke off the romance, but a recent show update informed those who were wondering that they continue to have a close familial relationship.
9. Married Twins “Felt Like Soulmates”
The story of twins who were separated at birth, met, fell in love, and married without ever knowing their true relationship has gained worldwide attention. The unnamed British couple were able to have their marriage annulled, thankfully, but the emotional damage is likely not as easy to erase. The bride and groom had both been raised by adoptive families, neither knowing they even had a twin, and when they met, they felt an “inevitable attraction.” Family therapist Audrey Sandbank says of this case that the twins are likely to have felt “like soulmates” when they met because of their shared genes. “This is a terrible trauma for them. They lost each other as babies and now they have lost each other again. They have been bereaved twice.”
8. Twisted Parent Trap
In 2012, a woman, getting ready to start a new life as a wife and mother, was pregnant with her fiancé’s child. So you can imagine her horror when she learned that, in reality, it was her own brother she had been dating and in love with for the past five years. The siblings met while attending university, and they both said it was love at first sight. Since they had grown up separately, 50 miles from one another in South Africa, they had never met and thus didn’t recognize each other. In a twisted version of The Parent Trap, South African style, the siblings were raised separately by their mother and their father, which seems quite selfish and cruel on the parents’ parts. Well, if they didn’t feel guilty for splitting their kids up before, they probably sure did after the awful discovery. The brother and sister found out shortly before they were to wed when their parents met before the ceremony. Now that would be one messed-up family get-together.
7. Aunt and Nephew
This next story was made public online when the man in the relationship sought out advice because he realized he had been dating his biological aunt for three years — and had two babies with her! It’s not quite as creepy as a brother-sister or a father-daughter incestuous scenario, but nor is it normal by any means. This man, who of course elected to remain anonymous, had been placed for adoption shortly after his birth. As an adult, he managed to track down his birth mom, who had only been 14 when she’d had him. But it turned out that his biological mother was actually the younger sister of his 44-year-old girlfriend! Mother and son had met before since he’d been dating her sister for three whole years, and they were faced with the conundrum of how to tell the poor girlfriend/aunt.
6. Happy Anniversary!
What better way to honor one’s love, bond, and connection on one’s wedding anniversary than finding out you’re married to your sibling? Well, any way is better, pretty much. In 2013, one particularly troubled man wrote to advise columnist Prudence about his conundrum, which was basically that he and his wife had both been born to lesbian mothers using sperm donors. While his wife had found her biological father as soon as she turned 18, he had no interest in doing so until his wife pointed out that their three children should know where they came from. So as an anniversary gift to her, he obliged and did some digging. In his letter to Prudie, he admitted that he’d had a vasectomy and considered letting it go since “what’s done is done,” and they would be having no more children. But he didn’t know if he should tell his wife, whom he’d met in college in one of those love-at-first-sight scenarios. Of course, Prudie advised him to tell her, but nothing further is known about what went down if he did.
5. Everyone in Iceland
Everyone in Iceland is either really paranoid… or really smart. No matter how small the chances are of accidentally dating, marrying, or sleeping with a blood relative, they’ve embraced the “better safe than sorry” approach to hooking up in this day and age. Since Iceland only has 330,000 residents, and most of them trace their ancestry back to the island’s ninth-century settlers, maybe this is not such a bad idea for them. So now, it’s as simple as bumping your phones together to make extra sure you’re not about to get inappropriate with your long-lost sister or cousin. If you are, the app will sound an alarm, and you’ll receive a warning text. To use the app, one must understand Icelandic (since it’s only available in one language) and have an Icelandic social security number.
4. “Kissing” Cousins
One young man, who, of course, chose to remain anonymous (I would), met a cute girl on Facebook after noticing they had some mutual friends. They started talking, and one thing led to another, and before either of them knew it, they were hooking up regularly. It was not necessarily a romantic relationship, nor was it friends with benefits. It was more casual than either of those situations. The trouble came when the guy’s new lover liked one of his Facebook statuses, and his brother noticed, to which the guy replied, “Yeah, she’s cute.” His brother laughed and said, “Dude, that’s our cousin.” This must have been in the deep South or something because the dude’s reaction to this information was not normal in the slightest. In his words, he said, “I researched and found out that yes, she was my cousin. It honestly made me want to f*ck her more. Which we did.” Apparently, the girl had known from the beginning that they were related, leaving me to wonder how it’s possible that everyone besides this guy knew they were cousins. But according to him, “We still hook up every now and then.” Special family.
3. Married Couple’s Infertility Leads to Discovery They’re Twins
Ready for another story of two people falling in love, pledging their lives to one another in holy matrimony, and then discovering they are twins? Well, that’s exactly what happened to one couple living in the southern state of Mississippi. The anonymous couple had been having trouble getting pregnant and discovered their sordid connection to one another after getting a DNA test at a local IVF (in vitro fertilization) clinic. It turned out that they had been separated at a very young age after their parents had both died in a car accident. A filing error within the adoption agency had led to them never knowing about the other, and to make matters worse, neither adoptive family told them they had a sibling. Years later, in college, the twins met up and were attracted to each other because of their similarities — both physical and otherwise. And the rest was history.
2. He Knew… But She Didn’t
One peculiar (and pretty sad) case of accidental incest comes from a Reddit user who told her story on the discussion website. Naturally remaining anonymous, the woman claimed that she had found out that her fiancé, whom she was set to marry in six weeks’ time, was her half-brother. While planning for the wedding, she had come across a photo of her fiancé’s real father (she only knew his stepfather) — and the man in the photo was her father, too! When she told her fiancé, known only as “Jaime,” he confessed that he had known for a whole year. And he saw no problem going forward with the wedding! Since they had decided they never wanted to have children, Jaime thought it was perfectly fine to proceed with their lives as a couple. His sister/lover didn’t agree, to say the least.
1. Drunk and In Costume
This one takes the cake for accidental incest stories… At a college party in London in 2007, two very unlucky revelers were drunk enough to hook up with a stranger — but not just any stranger. Apparently, the odds were against “Lucy” (name changed to protect her identity) and her hook-up, “Mark.” That night, dressed as a “sexy corpse,” skeleton lips and all, Lucy wore a wig and a very revealing outfit. Mark, her brother, didn’t even recognize her (nor did she him; he was wearing one of those gruesome clown masks). The two were not even supposed to be at the same party, but they were, and after enough drinks, they hooked up. When they woke up in the morning, it was like a scene from a movie, according to Lucy, because they screamed and freaked out. All of this was told in an anonymous interview with a British magazine, in which Lucy stated she has hardly spoken to her brother since.